The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena on Monday called the rape and murder of a woman in Mumbai’s Saki Naka area shocking, but said that the city was still the safest for women.
A woman in her 30s was found injured and bleeding inside a tempo van in Saki Naka on Friday night. The police said that the accused had inserted an unknown object into her genitalia. She succumbed to her injuries the next day.
The police have arrested one accused, 45-year-old Mohan Chouhan.
In an editorial in the party’s mouthpiece Saamana on Monday, the Shiv Sena said that there should be no doubt about whether Mumbai was safe.
“All such incidents are disturbing and cause anger,” the editorial said. “Cases like the one in Saki Naka occur due to dangerous perversions and this could bring about turbulence in any part of the world. The Saki Naka rape case is being compared with the one that occurred in Hathras. This is absolutely incorrect.”
In the Hathras case, a 19-year-old Dalit woman was gangraped and murdered by four upper-caste Thakur men on September 14, 2020. The woman succumbed to her injuries at a hospital in Delhi on September 29.
The incident garnered more attention after the woman was cremated in the dead of the night near her home on September 30, without the presence of her family members.
The Saamana editorial claimed that the accused in the Hathras case had “support of the state’s rulers” and pointed out that the arrest in the case was also delayed, according to PTI. The Shiv Sena mouthpiece also accused the Uttar Pradesh government of burning the body to get rid of any evidence.
“The Yogi government said there was no rape in Hathras, which proved to be wrong,” the editorial said. It also claimed that the National Commission for Women had responded to the Saki Naka case faster than authorities had for the Hathras complainant.
The editorial also alleged that in the 2018 rape case of a minor in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua, the accused had been protected. In the case, an eight-year-old girl from the nomadic community of Bakerwal was kidnapped from Kathua’s Rasana area on January 10, 2018, and was found dead on January 17 that year.
According to the 15-page police chargesheet, the victim was kidnapped, drugged, hit by a stone, raped and strangulated inside the temple premises by the accused.
The Shiv Sena editorial on Monday added that the only way to put an end to such cases was to educate people, reported PTI.
“The state government has decided to take care of the education and livelihood of the two daughters of the Sakinaka victim,” the editorial said. “Isn’t this a sign of being sensitive?”
The party also justified Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale’s statement that the police could not be present at all crime scenes, saying that police forces in other states would also agree with the comment.
“Now, let’s leave the case to the judiciary,” the editorial said. “The culprit will definitely be hanged to death as no one has come out in support of the accused, unlike the Hathras and Kathua [cases]. One has to know what to politicise.”
The party also accused the state’s Opposition of using the case to further their political agenda.